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Nokia forms strategic partnership with Microsoft

Nokia has announced today that it is forming a strategic partnership with Microsoft in an attempt to halt the steady decline of their market share and revenue over the last 3 years. The announcement comes on the back of Nokia’s chief executive, Stephen Elop’s candid memo earlier this week warning that the company was in crisis.

Mark Seemann, The Chief Technology Officer for Outsourcery, said,

“From a business perspective, both Microsoft and Nokia have been historically strong but their market shares have weakened lately. RIM’s BlackBerry devices have seen continued success within the business market, Apple and Google’s market share continues to grow and Microsoft’s excellent new Windows Phone should bring them back into the game.  For Nokia to compete they are going to need to dramatically up their game and they can only achieve this with a monumental change to their organisation.  Elop’s message to his staff was a public recognition of this fact. “

There are no further details at this point, but they question is whether Nokia plans on running both Symbian OS and Windows Phone 7 OS in tandem, as the word ‘partnership’ would suggest or whether it plans to phase out Symbian OS completely. WP7 won’t currently support the Ovi services that Nokia runs, although many of those have limited uptake and have been strategically closed down, Ovi Maps is a popular product with Nokia users and it would be a shame to see it go.

Update:

Via the Nokia Press Release we are now seeing an indication of how the joint partnership will work, with Nokia managing the hardware side of things and Microsoft handling the OS. So it looks as though Nokia will be primarily using Windows Phone 7 as it’s OS going forward.

Under the proposed partnership:

– Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

– Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone.  Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

– Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

– Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities.  Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

– Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.   For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

– Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

– Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

– Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

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